Insider Information Interview: Russell Lookadoo, HR Expert

russell_lookadoo_jibberjobber_insider_information_interviewsRussell Lookadoo has quite the background in HR. He has had executive roles at a couple of banks, and for the last twelve years has been consulting with small businesses that need HR help.  He has helped build large teams and has been responsible for letting many, many people go (as the messenger, of course).

I got to interview him a few months ago for the Insider Information Interview series, which is a series of interviews where I ask hiring managers, HR, and recruiters how they really hire, and what they really look at and for… and I was NOT disappointed!

I have known Russell for many years, but it wasn’t until last year that we were both in a video production together that I really came to understand that he has some amazing expertise in HR, and a great way of sharing his thoughts for job seekers.  He was one of the first people that I asked to interview for this series.

Below are notes I took as I was QA’ing the video yesterday, as we get it ready to add it to the library.  Note that some of these are questions that are asked all the time, but getting a senior HR expert’s response was really quite insightful.

  • Is there a right way (or a wrong way) to greet someone?
  • How to make a great first impression
  • What do you say to someone in an interview when you first greet them?
  • You are always watched, even when you don’t know you are (regarding in interviews)
  • How to set yourself apart when answering “tell me about yourself”
  • Is it bad to have scripted or coached answers in an interview? How do you make it okay?
  • What’s the first thing to do when preparing for an interview?
  • How do you have an outstanding interview?
  • How and why to rephrase an interview question before you answer it
  • Is it okay for a job seeker to be assertive in an interview? How and when?
  • Is any of this advice different for executives? How? (very interesting insight here)
  • What are great websites to use to do company research?
  • What are some interview questions you ask that have an underlying question? What are you really looking for?
  • What are transferable skills, and how do you communicate them?
  • When do I follow up after an interview? Especially when it’s past the time I expected to hear from you?
  • How do I follow up after an interview?
  • What if I have bad handwriting… should I still snail-mail a thank you note?
  • How do you respond to a job offer? (think: negotiation)
  • What do I need to know about sexual harassment in an interview?
  • How do you end an uncomfortable/creepy interview early? (think: personal safety)
  • What is the role of HR in the hiring process? How powerful is HR? We’re told to avoid HR as a job seeker!
  • Should I report a hiring manager who asks a bad question, etc.?
  • What is an ATS, and what do I need to know about an ATS?
  • How do I prepare my resume to get “through” an ATS?
  • Conversation on salary and salary negotiation
  • What are you (HR) telling hiring managers on how to negotiate salaries?
  • What is the hidden job market?
  • Are HR people good people to network with?
  • I’m your best friend… what is your advice to me on starting a job search?
  • Conversation about his resume tips
  • I’m your best friend, and I’ve been in a job search for more than 18 months… what is your advice to me now?
  • What if I want to become a consultant? Pricing for consultants

I can’t believe we covered so much ground in just over an hour.  Russell had great answers and I know this will help job seekers are they move forward in their interviews, networking, job search, and career management!

This interview should go live next week (I hope… depends on the video editor).